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Florida man dies after crashing recently purchased motorcycle

Deputies believe distraction or medical problems might have caused crash

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LAKELAND, Fla. – A Florida man died after crashing a motorcycle that he had for less than a week, authorities said.

The crash occurred Tuesday morning at the Carlton Arms of South Lakeland apartment complex, the Ledger reported.

Stephen Wheeler, 63, was pulling out of a garage and sped off across a street, hitting a raised concrete curb, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said. The motorcycle then traveled down a steep embankment and began to overturn, ejecting Wheeler from the seat, deputies said. Investigators said Wheeler, who wasn't wearing a helmet, hit his head on a fence at the bottom of the embankment.

Rescue workers transported Wheeler to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead on Thursday, officials said.

Deputies believe distraction or medical problems might have caused the crash. Wheeler’s wife told deputies that her husband had recently purchased the motorcycle. She said he had not operated a motorcycle in several years.